150 years of innovation

As Berkeley Engineering celebrates a century and a half of making our mark on history, we're highlighting people with the pioneering spirit, creative energy and social responsibility that characterize the college. If you have someone you’d like to nominate for a Berkeley Engineering@150 spotlight, please let us know.

Paul Jacobs: Transforming wireless technology

Berkeley Engineering 150Paul Jacobs at the opeining of jacobs Hall
A notable innovator, executive and philanthropist, Paul Jacobs led Qualcomm in the development of key technologies that fueled wireless and mobile innovations. Read more ...


Engineering innovators

New profiles added each week

  • David Patterson: A winning RISC

    At a time when fellow computer scientists believed that semiconductor technology demanded increasingly complex architecture, David Patterson took the opposite approach. Simplification won out, and today, 99 percent of the more than 16 billion microprocessors produced annually are based on the RISC technology he pioneered.

  • Ruzena Bajcsy

    Ruzena Bajcsy: Renowned engineer, 'enemy of the state'

    Before robotics and computer vision pioneer Ruzena Bajcsy came to UC Berkeley from her native Czechoslovakia, she had already overcome extraordinary obstacles in her life, beginning with losing her family to the Nazis and the Communists.

  • Leon and Byron Nishkian

    Leon and Byron Nishkian: A century of building

    Leon Nishkian and his son, Byron, left an indelible mark in Northern California and beyond, not only with the structures they designed and built, but with their vision of how engineers can help shape the character of a region.

  • Chang-Lin Tien

    Chang-Lin Tien: Inspirational educator, renowned engineer

    Berkeley chancellor and mechanical engineering professor Chang-Lin Tien was a popular administrator and highly regarded researcher in thermal science, as well as an outspoken champion of equal access and opportunity in higher education.

  • Steve Wozniak

    Steve Wozniak: Inventor and Apple co-founder

    Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer in 1976 with Steve Jobs, starting the personal computing revolution and creating one of the most influential companies in history.

  • George Dantzig

    George Dantzig: Operations research phenom

    George Dantzig, one of the founding fathers of industrial engineering and operations research, developed the simplex algorithm and was the first person to formulate linear programming models.

  • Dawn Song

    Dawn Song: Privacy protector

    Dawn Song, Berkeley Engineering professor and alumna, is proving to be a formidable leader in cutting-edge security and privacy research.

  • Thomas Budinger

    Thomas Budinger: Better medical imaging

    Thomas Budinger, a world-renowned medical imaging researcher, was the founding chair of UC Berkeley’s bioengineering department.

  • Raymond Davis

    Raymond Davis: Materials lab leader

    Civil engineering professor Raymond Davis grew Berkeley’s Engineering Materials Laboratory into the preeminent facility for construction research.

  • Austin Whitney shakes hands with Homayoon Kazerooni at commencement

    Homayoon Kazerooni: Affordable mobility

    Robotic exoskeletons are enabling people in wheelchairs to reach new heights, but the devices are expensive. Homayoon Kazerooni, professor of mechanical engineering, is working to bring the price tag down so more people can afford the technology.

  • Christopher Ategeka: Addressing global poverty

    Christopher Ategeka is bringing healthcare services to underserved communities in Africa, as well as leading the conversation about the unintended consequences of technology.

  • Dawn Tilbury: Shaping engineering research

    Berkeley Engineering alumna Dawn Tilbury has influence over the nation's fundamental engineering research and education as the head of the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Engineering.

  • Mock apartment block on the shaking table

    Shaking table: Advanced seismic safety

    PEER's 20-foot-square shaking table has been helping Berkeley engineers advance seismic research since it was unveiled in 1972 as the world’s first modern shaking table.

  • John Neerhout Jr.: Boring the Chunnel

    Mechanical engineering alumnus John Neerhout Jr. was a key figure in the construction of the 31-mile Channel Tunnel linking Great Britain and France. It is considered one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century.

  • Clarence Cory

    Clarence Cory: Electrifying the West

    After installing equipment to supply light and power to the Berkeley campus, Clarence Cory developed pioneering technology for the electrification of the West.

  • Dean Sastry

    S. Shankar Sastry: Leadership in a changing world

    As the 12th dean of Berkeley Engineering, Shankar Sastry helped ensure that the education, research and public service mission of the college remained uncompromised in a changing society.

  • Chuck Radcliffe and prosthetic ankle

    Chuck Radcliffe: Prosthetics designer

    Mechanical engineering professor Charles "Chuck" Radcliffe was a pioneer in prosthetic design as well as the biomechanics of the amputee gait cycle.

  • Elizabeth Hausler

    Elizabeth Hausler: Building change

    Elizabeth Hausler is the founder and CEO of Build Change, an international nonprofit that designs disaster-resistant structures and trains homeowners and craftsmen in best construction practices.

  • Douglas Engelbart

    Douglas Engelbart: Computer visionary

    Douglas Engelbart invented the computer mouse and designed a computer collaboration system that was foundational to the development of personal computers and the internet.

  • Charles Gilman Hyde

    Charles Gilman Hyde: Dean of sanitary engineering

    Charles Gilman Hyde created environmental engineering practices during the early 20th century that supported California’s health and ecology, as well as developed Berkeley’s world-renowned sanitary engineering program.

  • Leslie Field

    Leslie Field: Climate change fixer

    Leslie Field (M.S.’88, Ph.D.’91 EECS) is using her engineering background to slow the effects of climate change.

  • Gary May

    Gary May: Diversity champion

    Gary May (M.S.'88, Ph.D.'91 EECS) has spent his career developing tools and programs for others to succeed by advocating for more diversity in STEM.

  • Andrew-Ian Gonzales Bullitt, Joseph Andrew Charbonnet and Tsai Chu Yeh

    Commencement speakers: Words of student wisdom

    Andrew-Ian Gonzales Bullitt, Joseph Andrew Charbonnet and Tsai Chu Yeh deliver this year's student addresses at the Berkeley Engineering commencement ceremonies.

  • John Whinnery

    John Whinnery: Fields and waves

    From the early days of the field, John Whinnery was a leader in electronic communications, who also played important roles as a campus leader.

  • Claudia Ostertag

    Claudia Ostertag: The future of concrete

    Civil and environmental engineering professor Claudia Ostertag is researching ways to make concrete more sustainable, without compromising its durability or strength.

  • Dave Dornfeld

    Dave Dornfeld: Leader in sustainable manufacturing

    Dave Dornfeld, first faculty director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, was a leader in green and sustainable manufacturing, as well as an influential teacher and mentor.

  • Rohan Phadte

    Rohan Phadte: Fake news fighter

    EECS student Rohan Phadte is building machine learning technologies to aid in the battle against fake news and misinformation on the internet.

  • T.Y. Lin

    T.Y. Lin: Visionary structural engineer

    T.Y. Lin perfected the use of prestressed concrete, profoundly changing the history of building construction throughout the world.

  • Rube Goldberg

    Rube Goldberg: An engineer's engineer

    Rube Goldberg, engineer tuned award-winning cartoonist, celebrated the simple art of needless complexity.

  • Shafi Goldwasser

    Shafi Goldwasser: Cryptography pioneer

    Shafi Goldwasser, director of Berkeley’s Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing , has made major contributions to cryptography and numerous other fields, creating work that “is crucial to the fabric of our connected digital society.”

  • Alice Agogino

    Alice Agogino: Diversity by design

    Alice Agogino's wide-ranging interests and expertise are reflected in the many facets of her BEST lab: space robots, sustainable technology, design education, and fostering diversity and inclusion in engineering.

  • Pete Bragg teaching

    Pete Bragg: Materials science pioneer

    Robert “Pete” Bragg Jr. was an expert in the structure and electronic properties of carbon materials, as well as an ardent supporter of diversity programs at Berkeley.

  • BRETT and Pieter Abbeel

    BRETT: Deep-learning robot

    BRETT the robot has learned to master a variety of tasks through trial and error, or what is known in artificial intelligence as "deep learning."

  • Nery Barrera

    Nery Barrera: Forest guardian

    Nery Barrera, a member of the civil and environmental engineering class of 2018 from Guatemala, knows firsthand the importance of environmental protection.

  • Archie Williams

    Archie Williams: Olympic champion and Air Force colonel

    After winning a gold medal in the 400-meter race at the 1936 Summer Olympics, Archie Williams became an Air Force lieutenant colonel and later a teacher.

  • Christine Ho

    Christine Ho: Printing batteries

    Christine Ho invented a new battery chemistry and a print-based manufacturing process to simultaneously fabricate and place microscopic batteries onto wireless sensors.

  • Robert Bea

    Robert Bea: Dr. Disaster

    Civil and environmental engineering professor emeritus Robert Bea, the Master of Disaster, has built a remarkable career studying failures – both engineering and human – in hopes we can learn from them.

  • Julia Morgan

    Julia Morgan: Iconic architect

    Julia Morgan, who graduated in 1894 with a degree in civil engineering, was an architectural pioneer and "a true California gem."

Montage of images from Berkeley Engineering history

Milestones of engineering

Want to learn more about where Berkeley Engineers have been, and what they've accomplished? Visit our timeline of college history.